Being a reference in the world of Crossfit, Diogo Monteiro has extensive experience as a Personal Trainer and manager of large chains in this sector.
Having started his career in the Fuzileiros, where he spent 4 years, very early on he gained a taste for fitness and moved to England where he was very successful and recognized in the sports field.
Strongly motivated and with his entrepreneurial ability, he quickly decided to take a degree in Business Management, in Cambridge, and deepen knowledge that allowed him to join the business world with the fitness world.
Diogo Monteiro is one of the few Portuguese to have one of the highest qualifications given by CrossFif - CrossFit Level 3 Coach - to put this in perspective, there are currently thousands of CrossFit trainers in the world and only 0.7% of these are qualified with this level.
Back in Portugal it opens in Cascais Crossfit Black Edition, next to Cascais Shopping, which becomes one of the most important Boxes in Portugal. THE Crossfit Black Edition it is a national and international reference, both in terms of innovation and training.
Portal Cascais (PC) was to try to know better Diogo Monteiro (DM) and the world of Crossfit.
PC - Diogo, how did Crossfit come into your life?
DM - I have been working in the field for over 10 years, I was connected to the world of the big Health Clubs in Portugal and England. All my life I made a point of keeping myself in shape, so I was always a regular practitioner in the gym.
However, in the last few years it started to get complicated to train at the Health Club that he managed. Staff and customer interruptions were constant. And from that point of view my personal time was compromised.
In this sense, I started looking for another place to train and that's when I saw a CrossFit Box in Norwich, the CrossFit Gain, and I decided to try it because it had similarities to my military training and that interested me.
When I tried it for the first time, I was in awe and I remember perfectly that I thought to myself “how he had not yet discovered this modality. It was different from what I was used to, mainly the relaxed, friendly environment and the fantastic way to train with this different methodology“.
PC - What most passionate you about this sport?
DM - Without a doubt, people! This was one of the pillars that most attracted me to the Crossfit structure. Always being able to train with people I know and with whom I have created relationships, in a place where I identify myself is fantastic.
Another pillar was methodology and Coaching, there is no comparison, there is no greater satisfaction than this. Having the possibility to train different things every day, where we find elements of gymnastics, weightlifting, general physical condition and a permanent Coach, who helps us to improve our technical quality, always available, to motivate ourselves and to raise our capacities to another level, always in a safe and appropriate way to our characteristics.
PC - What do you consider to be the best benefits in the practice of Crossfit?
DM - There are countless benefits, but we have briefly identified two areas of immediate impact: Physical and Psychological.
At the physical level, we are giving people the opportunity, whether sedentary or non-sedentary, to recover their general physical condition, which in itself will provide a better quality of life regardless of their age.
We know that the type of methodology we apply allows us to transform our body composition. We must not forget that the nutritional factor also contributes to the acquisition of results, that is, lower levels of fat mass and increased levels of lean mass.
People nowadays lead extremely lonely lives, we spend hours looking at the palm of our hands with the gaze fixed on a tiny screen and without a doubt at this level at Crossfit Black Edition is proud to have a close-knit community of practitioners.
It is practically impossible on a psychological level to have no benefits, either because you have overcome your fears, or made new and true friendships, or manage to do something you have always dreamed of and all this accompanied by friends who know you for the person you really are.
PC - There is a new body culture that makes so many people want to lose weight and maintain an enviable silhouette, do you consider Crossfit the best solution?
DM - CrossFit has focused on health by increasing the work capacity in the shortest possible time and the consequence of this type of training methodology results in extreme levels of body composition.
Studies show that the hormonal benefits created by the effect of high-intensity training are those that students are most looking for. However, this is not our focus even though we know the positive consequence of it.
PC - Does Crossfit require any special food to obtain better physical results? Do you have a special diet?
DM - There are several diets associated with the practice of sport. We receive people with ketogenic diets, Paleo, Vegan, among others. In the sense of health and well-being any of these diets will be acceptable as long as it respects its parameters.
We are apologists for food balance and diversity, as long as the person is able to follow their diet and maintain an energy balance appropriate to our practice.
However, we advise the search for a professional (Nutritionist) who really helps people achieve their goals taking into account their lifestyle.
PC - Can everyone practice Crossfit, regardless of age or physical limitations?
DM - Without a doubt! We have children from 5 years old to people over 65 years old practicing CrossFit. The idea of adapting to the capabilities of each person, and that each has its individual intensity, is what allows us to have high level athletes with people who have never practiced the sport. They are in the same class, doing the same training. It has everything to do with adaptation.
It is undoubtedly an extremely nice environment, to give an example, it would not be the first time that in the same class we have a son, mother and grandfather doing the same training (adapted to their abilities, of course).
This means that if there are physical limitations, training can also be adapted, we work a lot with rehabilitation, post-operative or even with motor disabilities.
PC - What is the best age to start?
DM - Our youngest students are 5 years old. The idea is to create the habit of physical exercise for future generations, as well as promoting a healthy lifestyle, so the sooner the better.
PC - What advice would you give to someone who wants to start practicing Crossfit?
DM - Don't be afraid! Our Box is designed to accommodate people completely new to the sport, whether sedentary or not. We have a specific Fundamentals class created just for that purpose where “newbies”Will spend at least 2 to 3 weeks before going to a regular class.
The idea is to ensure that the person can improve motor patterns in a safe and effective way, while giving a gradual confidence, so that he feels comfortable in our environment. Just contact us and book an experimental class.
PC - There is often the idea that the high level of demand of Crossfit can cause injuries to practitioners, what is your opinion?
DM - I have to say that this is a wrong idea, there is a likelihood of accidents in all modes. However, I can talk about our box, which has hundreds of athletes, and say that we have an almost zero injury rate.
Just for the sake of curiosity, most of our practitioners who get injured happen outside the box, usually at the Sunday soccer game.
This theme is an important factor, so we have always chosen to choose qualified professionals and this gives us a quality certificate that reduces the injury factor.
PC - And what are the main health benefits?
DM - CrossFit by definition is a constantly varied program, with high intensity functional movements, and this in itself brings immense physiological benefits.
The 10 physical abilities developed by CrossFit are: Cardiorespiratory Development, Strength, Flexibility / Mobility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance and Precision of Movements.
We simply elevate the motor range of our students and consequently improve people's health in the long term, reducing cardiovascular disease and obesity levels. We are not interested in living only longer, but living longer and with higher quality.
PC - Having lived in England for a few years, where he achieved a successful career, why return to Portugal and invest in Cascais?
DM - I learned a lot in England! The English market is undoubtedly the most mature and developed in Europe, we are talking about the level of training, professionals and the fitness business in general. I would even say that the English market is many years ahead of all others in relation to Europe.
I always wanted to return to Portugal, and after doing several market studies, I found that Cascais corresponded to my national and international expectations, it was an emerging market and with several nationalities. In addition to making economic sense, it also made sense to me culturally.
At the business level I consider that I have some advantages coming from the English market and Cascais fit with the objectives I had.
PC - What are the main challenges you encountered when opening the Crossfit Black Edition in Cascais?
DM - Without a doubt, finding the right space, but as I say with persistence and motivation, everything is done. The other challenges are related to the taboos that the sport has and to demystify them, show the community of Cascais why CrossFit is fantastic and why they take the right option to join our family.
PC - Crossfit Black Edition being one of the biggest national successes of the sport today, what are the next challenges?
DM - Well, we have something up our sleeve for these next 2 years, we don't want to reveal it yet, but as we had a great national impact, with our box in the fitness market, the idea is to recreate the same concept in the next projects.
PC - How do you see the current phenomenon of Crossfit in Portugal? And in the coming years?
DM - This is undoubtedly growing and this is due to the fantastic professionals from all over the country who struggle every day for our society to become more conscious and healthy.
There is a great tendency for people to flee large commercial spaces, such as Health Clubs and look for something like us. People want to feel that they are part of something, they want to relate to other people and at the same time have results. Traditional programs are simply not satisfying many customers, while we guarantee results!
PC - And what are the next personal challenges?
DM - Personally me and my wife, who is my partner in our business and without which none of this would be possible, we are looking to the future of the Fitness market in Portugal and we realize that this does not go without government support and assistance.
In this sense, our objective is to continue to disseminate our sport more and more, but also to help Portuguese professionals to have the help and support necessary to raise the health levels of Portuguese society.
We are the first box to want to partner with the regulatory authorities in our industry and help ensure that there are really positive changes for all stakeholders interested in this cause.